Monday, December 30, 2013

Ten Picture Books to Welcome Winter

Though Winter officially starts up in December, wintry weather often doesn't hit until January, so I like to save this story time theme for after the holidays.  Here are ten great picture books celebrating the season of Winter. 

by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
How will the town of Toby Mills survive this cold snap? Watch as the whole community finds ways to keep warm, culminating in a toasty celebration organized by the mayor's wife. This is a longer book best suited to school groups and preschoolers with sizeable attention spans. It works in story time, but for kids to get the full effect of everything happening in the illustrations, they'd need to sit with it one on one. 

by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Pauline and her brother John-John learn a lot about making money, advertising,  and supply and demand when they decide to open a lemonade stand in the dead of winter. I have read this to pre-K classes in the past with great results. They don't quite follow the money-counting aspects of the story, but they do pick up on a lot of  the business practices used by the characters.

Owl Moon
by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr
There is no better read-aloud for Winter than this book. Kids of all ages respond to the poetic text and the gorgeous artwork, and it feels fresh every time I read it aloud.

Winter Lullaby
by Barbara Seuling, illustrated by Greg Newbold
Find out where the animals go in winter in this simple rhyming story. This book works well with toddlers, especially, but preschoolers, too, might like to call out the name of each animal and where it spends the winter months.

A Little Bit of Winter
by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
When Hedgehog must hibernate, he asks Rabbit to save him a little bit of Winter for when he wakes up, but Rabbit finds this easier said than done. This book has enough of a plot that preschoolers don't get bored, but it's still short enough to hold the attention of twos and threes who might not be that familiar with sitting for longer stories.

by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by S.D. Schindler
A family living inside a long-neglected snow globe longs for it to snow,  as do the big people who live in the house where the snow globe is kept. When snow falls, the Baby who lives in the house finds the snow globe and the family's wish finally comes true. This is a good school-age read-aloud. I especially like to ask kids in Pre-K through Grade 2 what would happen if they lived in a snow globe. They always give great, insightful answers.

by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
See what happens underground and in the snow itself in this picture book all about animals who do and do not hibernate.  The pictures in this one make it stand out, though the text might be a bit much for the average preschool group. Animal lovers will enjoy it as a one-on-one read.

by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin
This oldie-but-goodie Caldecott winner narrates one community's response to a snowy day and shows how the neighborhood looks all covered in snow. 

by David A. Johnson
This book tells the story of a snow day using only onomatopoeia. Story time groups love to make the sounds of the plow and various other vehicles that appear in the illustrations. This book pairs well with the poem "Ears Hear" by Lucia and James L. Hymes, Jr.

by Lita Judge
This mostly-wordless picture book  shows what happens when a child leaves a sled out overnight and the animals take a turn riding it. Similar to Duck on a Bike, but with a winter spin.
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